Top News: New Additions Have Impressive Training Camp

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Head Coach Adam Gase said he was pleased with what the Dolphins accomplished as a team during training camp, though several players managed to stand out individually.

Any list of the top performers during training camp would have to include cornerback Xavien Howard, who appears ready to take a big step in his third season after joining the Dolphins as a second-round pick in 2016.

Fellow cornerback Bobby McCain also was impressive during training camp, even if he didn't come up with interceptions the way Howard did.

On the defensive line, the one player who really jumped out was second-year defensive tackle Vincent Taylor. He was a disruptive force in team drills on a regular basis over the past two-plus weeks.

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Moving to the offense, one player who quickly comes to mind for his strong training camp was new wide receiver Albert Wilson. Gase mentioned Wilson's ability to quickly absorb the playbook and play mistake-free football, and that only enhanced Wilson's well-known speed.

We also should mention rookie tight end Mike Gesicki, who made progress with his blocking (the most overrated topic of camp) but more importantly showed off a remarkable ability to make contested catches in the end zone.

Gesicki was but one of the many rookies who looked good in camp.

"I've been very impressed with this class," Gase said. "Very impressed. Very football-oriented. These guys grind, they spend extra time, they study, they know what to do. They're playing fast. You see the impact, it's noticeable that these guys are going to help us this year. This isn't going to be, hey, let's see what happens over the next three years. We're seeing four or five, six guys actually … we know, hey, these guys are going to help us."

Schedule story: The Dolphins arrived in Charlotte on Wednesday in preparation for their preseason game against the Carolina Panthers on Friday, and they will be in regular season mode when they return to South Florida. Training camp officially ended Tuesday, though the only real change in terms of work conditions for the players is the ability to go home at the end of the day. Gase said this week he will treat the game against the Baltimore Ravens on Aug. 25 as a "mock game week," with the workweek schedule moved up one day because the game is on a Saturday. The Dolphins then will have a quick turnaround for the final preseason, Thursday, Aug. 30 at Atlanta.

Preseason process: The Dolphins' next two preseason games will be against the Carolina Panthers and the Baltimore Ravens, and it's not a coincidence that those two teams ended up on the schedule. "Baltimore, we were actually trying to set up to where we had a chance to go to them. It just didn't work out. You know how in preseason, it seems like there's a lot of conflicts in the schedule with things going on at their stadium, our stadium and things like that. I love playing Baltimore. I think it's always a great challenge for us. Coach (John) Harbaugh has obviously done a great job there and their attitude is one of those attitudes that we're striving to get to where they're tough, physical, smart, do things right and (are) competitive every week. That's why I love playing those guys. Carolina, that's kind of a location but at the same time, we're playing a good team. I think it's a different team for us to play, especially for our defense. They have a new (offensive) coordinator this year, but any time you can go against Cam Newton, I think it's a great test for our defense because he's a hard, hard quarterback to defend."

TV info: The Dolphins-Panthers game Friday at 7:30 p.m. will be shown live on WFOR-TV in South Florida, with Dick Stockton, Nat Moore and Bob Griese calling the action. The broadcast will be replayed on NFL Network on Saturday at 6:30 a.m. and Wednesday, Aug. 22 at 10 a.m. Fans also can watch live out-of-market preseason games and replays of every game as part of the NFL Game Pass package. For information, CLICK HERE.

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